How is the quality of care at nursing homes? - AgingCare.com

How is the quality of care at nursing homes?

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I don't think the quality of care is there at nursing homes. How many times are they short staffed? Seems like it happens almost daily...either short staffed on RNs or short staffed on CNAs. Caring for the elderly is a job to get done, not a call for caring and compassion. I guess I don't have a question so much as just an overall frustration that nursing homes want residents who are seen and not heard and residents who require minimal care. In my experience, CNA to resident ratio is very high. Do others find this to be the case? We moved my mother from one nursing home to another which was supposedly better, but I think they're all about the same.

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Is it large cities that the NH's are bad?
I have no complaint about the NH my Mom is in, they keep her very busy, bingo-baking-crafts--has her nails and hair done once a week.
I'm from a rather small town, maybe thats the dif.
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I disagree AliceCat on the home care workers. Sometime you can get really lucky and find a nice one. Granted this one does weigh about 350 lbs. so you're right on that one but she is powerful and can pick my mom up, which spoils it for me because when my mom goes from the bed to the walker to the wheelchair or the pot, she keeps asking me to put both hands under her arms and lift her up. I have to say no because I can't do it. I was lifting so much at one time on my right side it got sore.

She does a lot more actually than I do because my mom will constantly ask her to massage her hands and she does. When my mom ask me I massage about 1 minute and I'm through. I guess when you're paying someone $20.00 an hour they will do anything. I wonder what the agency pays her out of that 20?

But as far as Nursing homes I think Austin is right and when you are near your loved one you can go frequently and the staff realizeds they can't pull anything over on you because they never know when you'll show up.

I went to visit 3 Nursing homes and it just saddened me however I am ready to let my mom go to one but now it's out of my hands.

Ed that's a sad story about your friend.
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My mother was in one for a month. It was nightmarish. She was the only one that was coherent and the head nurse was extremely negative.
Unfortunately, I think "in home" nursing isn't any better. The nurses are usually 500 lbs. (sorry, but it's true) and won't lift a finger. They tell me how to do "their" job. The last straw was having them come in to help her transfer and shower because she broke her foot. My back just couldn't take lifting her everywhere. Well, the nurses came and I ended up doing more work, with them there, than I would have, without them. These people get paid to dictate a job you already know how to do. Nursing is a joke.
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All nursing homes have problems from time to time but the best nursing home for your loved ones is the one that is closest to where you are some other responsible family member or friend can make a visit often to see what is going on and if you see something you do not like ask to speak to the head nurse right then and if you aare not getting the attention aks to see the director or administrator that day or make an appointment as soon as possible most problems can be addressed easily being calm and determined works best.
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ED, OMGosh! What a sad sad story. My heart goes out to you. It also makes me so angry. Angry that people will treat other people this way. What has happened to our compassion, caring and knowledge of right and wrong?!?!?! Thank you for sharing your story.

SL
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AKN64:

Ditto! An old friend of mine, who lived with AIDS for about 10 years, was hospitalized at Mt. Sinai Medical Center here in NYC (Manhattan). He received the best of care there, and was even ordering Chinese takeout from his room. He'd gained weight, was smiling again, and was getting ready to go to a nursing home (Cardinal Hayes on 106th St. & 5th Ave.) where he was expected to complete his recovery.

When I finally had a chance to pay him a visit at the nursing home 1 1/2 weeks, he was severely depressed, angry, and had a "gone with the wind" appearance: ghost-like, soaking from night sweats, wasting away. He looked like a corpse. I asked one of the nurses if Cardinal Hayes is a place where people dump their loved ones to die, and she didn't answer. I took her silence for an emphatic YES. I asked for clean sheets so I could make his bed and for a tub with soapy warm water so I could wash him (probably for the first time since he arrived), but I was told he'd be taken care of "shortly." ... "Shortly." ... "Shortly." ... "Shortly." I stayed there for about 6 hours, trying to keep him relatively comfortable, but "shortly" never came. I realized the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease in this kind of places, so I made such a scene they had to call security. "People shouldn't have to beg for things they should already have, and what he needs isn't that much to ask for and that complicated." I proceeded to lifting the filthy sheets to show everyone the urine and feces my friend had been sleeping in and asked them if they'd sleep like this. A security guard almost threw up, and all he kept saying was "Good God!" I got what I wanted.

I came back everyday for two weeks, until one day the bed was empty. He'd been sent back to Mt. Sinai. The next day, when I arrived about 3 PM, the room he was supposedly staying in was being cleaned. He passed away, and I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.

My point? Whenever we come across nursing homes that are essentially dumping grounds for the elderly and severely ill, most of the time we don't say anything and simply try to get away as far as you can. We know about it, yet try to block it out of our minds and won't even bother giving the heads up to anyone going into that nursing home for the first time. So before we decide to put our loved ones in one of them, run a background check on the facility via internet (if possible), do the footwork, and do the homework by mingling with the residents just to get the real scoop on the place. If the staff doesn't allow you to speak with the residents for one reason or another, ask them "Why not?" If you don't get a response or get the runaround, thank them profusely and go check another home. Hopefully you won't find a sty where human beings are treated like cattle.

Hope this helps.

-- ED
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I agree with you. I'm blessed that at this time I can care for mom at home. I worry that there will come a time when I can no longer do it. (I'll cross that bridge when I come to it). I really feel for the families that have to struggle with NHs. From reading through all the topics here, it's universal. Whether in home or AL/NH it's very very hard. I wish we could find an answer for all of this.
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